If you want to be a responsible goat owner, you have to learn a few facts about goats and a few pointers in taking care of them. This short article will give you these things and more. You start by getting the diet of your goats right. Basically, most of the food you feed your goats should be natural roughage coming from tree bark, hay, woody plants, shrubs, and more. However, this type of food will not suffice in being able to provide them with an adequate supply of nutrients that they need to maintain their health.
It would thus be necessary that you supplement their diet with coarse grain like corn, goat feed, and other grain products. Avoid giving your goats a diet that contains a great majority of grains. They will end up suffering from kidney problems that can be life-threatening to them. They may also suffer from becoming too fat or developing a bloated stomach. You should be able to provide them a well-balanced diet. This means that about 75% to 80% of their diet should come from natural roughage coming from plants.
One of the most common misconceptions about goats that most people have is that they can and will eat just about anything. However, this is a hundred percent false. A lot of natural plants have been shown to actually make your animals very sick like your goats. In some instances, they make even suffer from premature death. Make sure to avoid feeding your goats with the following plants that will make them sick.
• Wild cherry
• Mountain laurel and seep laurel
• Black walnut
• Mesquite pods
• Ponderosa pine
Make sure to provide your goats with fresh water and have some available to them at all times. The amount of water that your goats will need will depend on how much moisture is present on the food that they are eating. If you live in areas where temperatures tend to fall below freezing point for quite some time during the winter months, it would be best for you to secure a submersible heater. You can have this placed in your water containers to ensure that the water you provide to your goats does not freeze over.
Another consideration when taking care of goats is their shelter. You should be able to provide them a dry place that will allow them to go in and out of the rain. This dry place should also serve as their place for sleeping without having any dew falling on them. The kind of shelter that you provide them should be able to serve as a place for them to get away from the cold winds of the winter season. Make sure that the shelter you build them will also keep them safe from natural predators lurking around.
To keep your goat protected from the dampness of the ground and cold, you can put a thick layer of hay or straw down and inside of your goat shelters. You may also include putting a wooden floor in your goat shelter if you prefer to. If you are on a budget, you can turn your large dog house into a goat shelter alternative. This lets them easily go in and climb up on the structure.